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Inter-American Development Bank adds artwork from Barbados and Bahamas to its permanent collection

On June 19, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) welcomed three Caribbean paintings to its art collection. The Caribbean Country Department (CCB) granted funds to the IDB’s Art Collection for Caribbean paintings to highlight Caribbean talent. The IDB hosted a dedication ceremony at the IDB with guests from Washington’s Caribbean community, where Gerard Johnson, CCB’s Manager, and Marcelo Cabrol, the Manager for the IDB’s External Relations Department, spoke about the importance of artists in Caribbean society.

Mr. Johnson stressed the work the IDB is doing in the Caribbean and its efforts to support the Caribbean economy. He also noted that the IDB greatly appreciates and seeks to promote the Caribbean region’s unique contributions to art, music and literature. Mr. Johnson underscored that the Caribbean’s artists are professionals in their respective disciplines and that their work can have an important impact on the region’s economy and culture.

The IDB has a long tradition of promoting Latin American and Caribbean culture. The IDB also has an extensive collection of art works from artists from its 46 member countries. The two paintings by artists from Barbados are the first in the IDB’s collection from that country.

One of the paintings inaugurated at the dedication was “Mimosa pudica” by Joscelyn Gardner from the Bahamas. Ms. Gardner appropriates cultural material found in Caribbean archives to explore her Creole identity to intertwine a “historical relationship shared by black and white women in the Caribbean.”

The other two paintings were the work of artists from Barbados—Rash Ishi Butcher’s “A New Day” and Omar Richardson’s “Personal Language.” Mr. Butcher is an award-winning Rastafarian artist whose works reflect social concerns regarding race and the role of men in Barbadian society. Mr. Richardson is a SCAD graduate and a recipient of the Juror’s Award at the 2011 Atlanta Juried Printmaking Exhibit.